The Atlanta Hawks look to rebound from last night’s embarrassing home finale and finish out the season on a winning note as they play their last game against the New York Knicks in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
The Knickerbockers got some disappointing news earlier Wednesday as veteran big man Rasheed Wallce announced his NBA retirement. Wallace played in 21 games this season with New York but missed most of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Atlanta is in danger of being swept as they’ve dropped the previous two games against NY this season 106-104 on Jan. 27 in MSG and on April 3 in ATL 95-82.
The Hawks are catching a break tonight as the Knicks will be resting soon-to-be NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby and A’mare Stoudemire.
However, Atlanta will also rest Al Horford, Josh Smith, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris. None of them played at all in the second half of yesterday’s game against Toronto. Horford didn’t even suit up and Josh Smith went to the locker room halfway during the game and returned to the bench with his knees heavily wrapped with ice.
The Hawks entered the game with control of the five seed, sitting a half game ahead of the Bulls, but slipped in the standings with the loss and now hold sixth place.
In order for them to regain the fifth, they need to win tonight and Chicago needs to lose at home against the woeful Washington Wizrds.
However, the Bulls keep the five seed if they win.
Which ever team gets #5 will have to play fourth-place Brooklyn, while #6 plays third-place Indiana.
With all of that said, Atlanta definitely wants the six seed. Not because they prefer Indiana over Brooklyn (they split the season series with both teams), it’s because the winner of the #3 vs #6 series avoids a matchup with the first-place Miami Heat in the second round.
So, in that case… let’s go Knicks?
Check back at 6:30 PM (ET) for the game thread with the starting lineups, injury report, series notes, etc.